Prospects for an accessible and open version of Android?

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sun Jun 21 07:47:57 UTC 2020

My apology for not keeping the initial question in mind.

However, I wonder if asking an Android phone to serve this function is
more an academic exercise than a practical one at this point?

I say this because I'm just now in the process of buying my next
(natively) Linux computer, and it's quite small. It comes pretty close
to the size of an Android phone. So, I suspect it might be the easier
path of practicality is the point.

I'm talking about the MeerKat 5 (small) from (which you can
get with up to a 10th generation Intel I7, 64Gb RAM, and 2Tb NVME
drive), all in a box about 4.5 inches by 4.5 inches by 1.5 inches tall.
The base price is very competitive with a new Android device, imo, with
far more going for it when portable Linux is the goal.

Which is not to put down academic exercies aimed at hacking Android into
something usable. I just think the two questions are worth treating



Linux for blind general discussion writes:
> I think Amanda is trying to get back to the question I originally posted.
> That is, she wants to set up a cell phone with a (mostly) FOSS Android variant,
> in order to have an accessible, extensible, and extremely portable computer
> that is under her (rather than Google's) control.
> Although she might use the Android UI for some tasks, the goal is to have a
> command-line interface and a set of blind-friendly commands that she can enter
> via Bluetooth, SSH, etc.  Longer term, entering commands by braille or voice
> might allow her to dispense with a separate keyboard.
> As my posting indicated, there are several candidates for a base OS, but it's
> hard to tell which one(s) would be a good fit for this use case.  Suggestions?
> - Rich Morin
> > On Jun 15, 2020, at 23:59, Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at> wrote:
> > 
> > I don't understand your question. An Android device is a Linux device.
> > It runs on linux kernels, implements several Linux libraries. Its audio
> > subsystem is driven by alsa.
> > 
> > The user doesn't see this, of course, because all of that is under the
> > hood, so to speak. The user interface on Android is written in Java, so
> > bears no resemblance to the graphical desktop one might see on a typical
> > Linux computer, typically GNOME or KDE.
> > 
> > So, what are you asking? Please say more.
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Janina Sajka

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures

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